Christmas is the time of year when people tend to think about those less fortunate than themselves and when they incorporate that caring into their own holiday activities.
That’s certainly the case at the West Coast Grill where manager Tracy Snow is again coordinating Sooke’s annual Gingerbread Contest.
“We started this event as a cooperative effort between ourselves and the Sooke Food Bank nine years ago, and it’s become a favourite of the community,” Snow said.
“We get a lot of people dropping by to look at the various houses on display and I can tell you, it makes our lobby look so festive. It’s a great event.”
The cookie-based houses are created by a variety of people and organizations, and last year the event included entries from businesses, individuals, the Canadian Coast Guard, Sooke Fine Arts Society, and others.
There were 14 houses in last year’s show, but Snow is confident this year will see even more miniature houses entered.
“I work with my own family to make our gingerbread house for the display. We figured out how to make a gingerbread igloo-you know-a Snow house? It’s harder than it sounds,” Snow said with a chuckle.
Visitors can vote for the best gingerbread creation, and make donations to the food bank in the process. The adult-created gingerbread house with the most votes gets a $100 gift certificate for the West Coast Grill and, for the kids’ winner, there’s a Santa gift basket full of toys and prizes.
“Last year we managed to raise about $800 for the food bank, and we had so much fun doing it,” Snow said.
“We hope to raise even more this year.”
Kim Metzger, the president of the Sooke Food Bank, said she is excited about the event, and looking forward to checking out the tasty displays.
“This year, we’re doing something very special. We’ve had some of those gingerbread kits donated and we’ve given them to some of our clients who are putting together their own gingerbread houses for the display,” Metzger said.
“It’s the sort of thing that these folks wouldn’t even think about doing on a budget, but this year they can be part of the fun.”
The display starts on Dec. 1 and runs until Dec. 21 when entrants can take home their gingerbread creations, just in time to add a little cheer to their own homes. Everyone is welcome to enter their own gingerbread house and can do so by contacting Snow at the West Coast Grill.
“We’re so blessed in Sooke It’s an amazing community and everyone pitches in to help us out,” Metzger said.
“The West Coast Grill, the Rotary, the Lions and Harbourside Lions, EMCS – everyone pitches in during what can be a tough time of year for a lot of families.”
As for Snow, she confesses to one concern.
Some people, she said, might be tempted to channel their inner Hansel and Gretal and take a nibble of the candy festooned houses.
“Just remember. There’s no touching and no tasting,” Snow said.